Feb 1, 2013 2:00pm PST
"hardball." ♪ >>> i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with this. why is john mccain so angry? 40 years after the vietnam p.o.w.s came home, the most famous of them is angrier than ever. why is america, why are we fighting the vietnam war all over again in the united states senate? the ticked off vitriol against chuck hagel. what is it about is? is it for show? is it about something hagel said in the cloakroom? is it the unfairness of vietnam itself that some went and sond didn't. is it about johnson's inability to win that war or end it. what burns so deeply in john mccain these days? it seems to excite those who knew nothing about vietnam but want to replay it. we big into the deep well of resentment purning in john mccain's patriotic heart. a resentment not against the north vietnamese who imprisoned and tr toured him all those years, no the against george w. bush and his political henchmen who tried to stain mccain's reputation back in 2000, but against a guy who fought against fear and ralliesed against wounds just like he did in the same army of america's long nightmare in v
Feb 1, 2013 10:00am PST
to know that his problems were going to come from john mccain, ted cruz, lindsey graham, and a couple of the other republican conservatives. it just seemed to go completely off track. not the confirmation, but the performance. >> well, here's what happened. he was bad. i mean, there's no other kind of way to put it. these things -- these public kwurmation hearings are at least part performance, andrea, and i would argue they're mostly performance, and you are right. he just seemed sort of ill equipped to manage it. only thing i could think of was this. strategically speaking. chuck hagel and his people decided going into this that, yes, he had a few issues, but they had already sort of been publicly litigated and had proven to be not disqualifying. that is, he had got tony this point. therefore, he should just take sort of a passive stance, let ted cruz, let john mccain, let them lecture him sort of be apologetic and say i did the best i that i could, but not go on the attack, not be aggressive, be under the theory that if nothing else came out that ultimately the republican senators
Feb 1, 2013 6:00am PST
vietnam veterans john mccain and hagel were mavericks in the senate. in 2000 hagel co-chaired mccain's campaign. he was only one of a handful of senators who endorsed him and at a town hall in nashua, new hampshire, mccain even floated this possibility -- >> as far as secretary of defense is concerned, there's a lot of people that could do that. one of them i think is senator chuck hagel. >> but yesterday the air in the hearing room was thick. maybe it was bitterness. we don't know. mccain may feel about his old friend as mccain hammered hagel for the opposition to the 2007 troop surge in iraq. >> were you correct or incorrect, yes or no? >> my reference to the surge being -- >> are you going to anxious the question, senator hagel? the question is, were you right or wrong? that's a pretty straightforward question. >> well, i'm not going to give you a -- a yes-or-no answer on a lot of things. >> let the record show you refused to answer that question. >> by the way, incoming secretary of state john kerry who glided through his nomination hearing was also opposed to the iraq surge.
Feb 1, 2013 9:00am EST
to know how has john mccain can question this man like he is not too good. another thing, they are only doing this because of who the president is. they are open with that. host: we will leave it there. guest: i think john mccain -- i think what you see is a real passion for the issues that he was questioning him about. he is a passionate man. he is someone who cares deeply and that was evident yesterday. i think he is someone who takes things personally and very much to heart. and again, the iraq war was something he felt acutely and was very outspoken on and has been throughout the execution of that war. i think you could see that yesterday. host: she is a senior adviser for the center for studies. if you want to watch senator hagel's hearing in total, i invite you to go to our c-span video library at www.c- span.org. thank you very much. coming up, it is our regular look at america by the numbers. they will look at how americans across the country are doing financially. we will be right back. >> my cartoons depict native humor. when i first started this cartoon, they were native cha